"Do not oppress a stranger; you yourselves know how it feels to be strangers, because you were strangers in Egypt.” Exodus 23:9
During the Passover holiday this week, Jews all over the world are re-telling the story of their Exodus from Egypt. Unfortunately that story remains all too relevant today, as the world faces the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Approximately 60 million refugees from war and persecution around the world are seeking safety and a better life, just as many of our ancestors did. As states and countries move to pass legislation to keep refugees out, it’s more important than ever that we not lose sight of our compassion and humanity.
“As Jews around the world gather to celebrate Passover, we tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is a story about fleeing slavery and oppression,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.” It is a story about seeking safety abroad. It is the universal refugee story. ADL is standing up for people fleeing extreme violence not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because we were once strangers too. There is no more impactful way to convey that message than by harnessing the power of artists to paint stories of refugees experiences.”
Launching publicly Tuesday, April 26, the new gallery of art already features over 50 pieces, including designs from artists in Costa Rica, Canada, Romania, Ireland, Italy, Ethiopia, Greece, and the United States.
All the designs are available for sale as prints and more to support the artists involved, with a portion of proceeds also going to Anti-Defamation League to support their ongoing work on behalf of refugees.
“Art has the unique capability to put us in someone else’s shoes - to inspire empathy and compassion in a way nothing else can. Artists all over the world are stepping up to put their talents to work, and refocusing the discussion of refugees on the real people involved,” said Max Slavkin, CEO of Creative Action Network. “This new collection breaks through the political noise, to remind us of the universal struggle for a better life, of our own families’ histories, and of how so many people today need our help.”
Anyone can contribute their own design at: https://creativeaction.submittable.com/submit/56787
All designs can been seen and purchased as posters at: https://creativeaction.network/collections/we-were-strangers-too
For more on ADL’s work on the refugee crisis: http://www.adl.org/civil-rights/immigration/c/once-we-were-strangers-too.html